On Facebook, for no particular reason other than something I read made me think back to that politician who was once quoted as insisting the “income tax” was “voluntary”, I posted:
As of today, subscriptions to my blog are voluntary. You can pay, or spend the rest of your life in a cage (or die if you resist). But since you have that choice, or you can choose to move to North Korea instead of paying, it’s voluntary. Right? I mean, the “tax” collectors at the IRS wouldn’t lie about what “voluntary” means, would they?
Almost immediately, a guy posted a response:
Laughing my ass off no one is going to pay you to look at your damn blog if you have relevant information for our situation you would be giving it away for free not asking for money
OK, so he didn’t get the joke; maybe he didn’t see the winky face. And apparently he has never heard of punctuation.
But, then… I got to thinking. Is that true? Valuable (relevant) information must be given away? Only crap gets paid for? And that’s how you can tell the difference between the two? There’s no good information in a book that’s for sale, but if the author (or someone else?) gives you the book for free, the information in it suddenly has value? That seems a strange kind of thinking.
I would imagine some valuable information is bought and sold, while some is given away, but to say that only free information has any worth seems… odd.
I mean, yes, my blog is free. More free than it used to be, even, since I have opened up all the previously “subscriber-only” posts. Does this mean it now contains “relevant information”?
Does this apply to other contributions as well? If I do a good job flipping burgers, I have to do it for free. If I’m a competent brain surgeon, I can’t charge for my services. Only the hacks and con men can expect payment. Or, does it only apply to information?
As a way to put my “resolution” into action, I have adopted “Don’t be mean to stupid people” on Facebook and in face-to-face interactions. So, I didn’t give him a reply beyond “Whoosh” (the sound of the joke flying over his head). Perhaps I should thank him for showing me how some percentage of people think – although I suppose elections have already shown the prevalence of the entitlement mentality pretty clearly.
Relax, it was just a joke. Just not a very good one, apparently.